What Makes A Greater Depth Writer in Year Five

Written by Dan

Last updated

To ascertain whether your children are writing at a greater depth level, it is essential to consider the characteristics of a greater depth writer. By doing so, you will be able to identify better and support those children who may need extra challenges in their writing. This article will look at some critical things that make a more significant depth writer in year Five. Keep reading to find out more!

Semi-Colons To Separate Main Clauses

Using semi-colons fully and correctly is an essential part of writing that can take children to the next level. It demonstrates that they have a basic knowledge of English grammar and will also help them express more complex ideas rather than having long sentences as standalone.

Year five teachers should ensure that their pupils know when it is appropriate to use semi-colons rather than commas or colons; this familiarisation can be done with reading activities, then extending into spelling and grammar exercises to reinforce the skill.

Furthermore, the teacher should guide students on how best to use them in their writing by providing constructive feedback and support.

Sentence Structure

One indicator of greater depth writing is the ability to manipulate sentence structure by re-ordering or embedding clauses and utilising different sentence lengths to create varying effects.

Using these techniques can be challenging for students, but they can deploy them effectively and refine their writing with practice.

Empowering their writing capability will help them work towards a greater depth level and make their work more engaging for readers.

Expanded Noun Phrases And Sentence Starters

Writing well is more than just combining words and ideas – it also involves how effectively those words are chosen. Year five teachers can assess the extent to which their students are working at a greater depth level by understanding the subtleties of syntax.

For example, when children use expanded noun phrases in their writing, they can add necessary details to convey the desired meaning.

Similarly, sentence starters incorporating effective word choices can help children succinctly communicate a clear argument or narrative line.

By encouraging children to utilise such techniques when composing their work, year five teachers can foster an appetite for language play amongst their pupils and promote higher levels of creativity in the classroom.

Manipulating Formality

Mastering the ability to manipulate formality and shift between various forms of writing is essential for a successful and confident writer. This applies particularly to year five students who have graduated from simpler writing forms, such as stories, and need to introduce more complex structures, like persuasive writing and research reports, into their work.

Teachers must support their students by helping them to recognise when a certain formality level should be used in different tasks.

For example, this could involve teaching students about the differences between informal and formal letters or when it is appropriate to use standard language versus casual language in their writing.

By introducing these concepts and giving children examples of how to apply them when crafting different types of writing effectively, teachers can help year five students reach a greater depth level in their work.

Passive Voice

One way to challenge yourself and your students as writers are to start experimenting with different forms of voice. In particular, it can be beneficial for students to explore the passive voice.

The passive voice is a grammatical construction used to describe an action where the subject of the sentence is acted upon by someone or something else. The passive voice is formed using a form of the verb “to be” (e.g., am, is, are, was, were) plus a past participle of the verb being conjugated. For example:

The book was written by John.

Incorporating this into their writing will help them develop their language and better articulate abstract concepts.

Structured And Organised According To The Text Type

Assessing writing at a greater depth level involves determining that the structure and organisation of the text are appropriate for the genre. For example, an argumentative essay should have an introduction in which its key points are established, followed by at least three body paragraphs, each devoted to one end or an aspect of it.

Each body paragraph should contain topic sentences and evidence to support its claims.

Opportunities for dialogue can help to make expository pieces more engaging while emphasising critical messages in any part of writing can aid in highlighting the overall news of a written report.

In short, a paper has several components that determine whether it is assigned higher marks – all can be checked against a rubric or through trained eyes, allowing teachers to assess writing impartially and with the necessary detail.

Commas And Proofreading

When teaching students to write, few topics are more important than punctuation. Mastery of commas and other punctuation is essential for expressing ideas clearly and helps to ensure that every sentence conveys its intended meaning.

As a year five teacher, ensuring that your students can use commas accurately within their writing is essential in assessing whether they are writing at a greater depth level.

Commas help to mark the boundaries between phrases and clauses, clarify the relationships between words in complex sentences, indicate the beginnings of dialogue, and separate lists.

By including proofreading checks on comma usage in their writing assessments, you’ll quickly tell whether your students accurately depict their ideas with these helpful punctuation marks.

Editing And Amending

Regarding the editing process, it can sometimes be necessary and beneficial to take things out or simplify a piece of writing, not just add to it or make amendments.

This often proves particularly challenging for year five teachers when assessing the work of the children in their class working at a greater depth level.

Here they need to be aware of what can be extracted from the writing and in which areas changes and improvements can be made to help develop an enhanced understanding of written language.

By understanding this critical aspect of editing, teachers will have a much more streamlined approach as they assess their students’ writing ability progress.

Vocabulary Across The Curriculum

To properly assess whether year five students are working at a greater depth level in their writing, it is essential to be aware of the vocabulary they have at their disposal.

Ensuring they consistently use language from across the curriculum in their writing can indicate their comprehension and ability to express their ideas.

Teachers should keep an eye out for words that may leap out of the ordinary, such as those gained from science and other subjects.

Encouraging students to seek more varied vocabulary beyond just the English language will go a long way towards purporting greater depth in written pieces.

Year Five Spelling Expectations

As a Year five teacher, you must ensure that your students consistently apply the year five spelling expectations in their writing. To successfully do this, teachers need to monitor and assess their class’s use of spelling throughout the year.

Strategies such as continual formative assessments and individual conferences will help identify what spelling conventions are being used correctly and which ones need further reinforcement.

Once they have identified gaps, they can plan activities to target these skills, allowing every student to confidently apply the Year five spelling expectations in their written work.

To assess whether your children are writing more deeply, look for the abovementioned features. These include:

  • using semi-colons to separate main clauses; adapting sentence structure by re-ordering or embedding clauses
  • using different sentence lengths to create effects
  • using expanded noun phrases and sentence starters with effective word choices adding detail
  • manipulating formality in various types of writing
  • beginning to experiment using the passive voice
  • writing that is structured and organised according to the text type
  • using commas used accurately to mark grammatical boundaries and proofreading checks that they help clarify the meaning
  • utilising an editing process that involves taking out or simplifying rather than just adding or amending text
  • using vocabulary from across the curriculum consistently in their writing
  • applying Year five spelling expectations across their writing.

By looking for these features, you will better understand whether your children are working at a greater depth in their writing.

Make sure you send our What Makes A Greater Depth Writer in Year Four article to your year four teachers friends!

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.

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